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An Introduction to Picture Book Illustration | July 2024

Wednesday, July 31st (6.30pm – 8.30pm) for 5 weeks until Wednesday, August 28thOnline€100


Cultural & Creative Industries Skillnet are delighted to welcome Finbar Coyle to deliver this course on illustration for children’s picture books.

In this introductory course, Finbar will dive deep into the art of creating captivating illustrations tailored specifically for children’s picture books and will give comprehensive guidance on fundamental techniques, with a focus on creating vivid and engaging visuals that bring stories to life. He will examine how to craft compelling characters that leave a lasting impact on young readers, while honing your skills in illustration storytelling. Participants will discover practical strategies for navigating professional commissions and maximizing the potential of digital tools such as Photoshop and Procreate to enhance their creative process.

What will this course cover?

  • Understanding the role of illustrations in picture books. Exploring different styles and techniques in picture books.
  • Overview of character design principles and the importance of appealing, story driven characters in picture books.
  • Introduction to world building in picture book illustration with a focus on composition.
  • Understanding narrative structure and pacing in picture books and the use of visual storytelling techniques to enhance our illustrations. 
  • Learning professional practices and the role and responsibilities of a children’s book illustrator. Working with clients and meeting their expectations. 
  • Introduction to colour theory and its applications in picture book illustration. We will create colour studies and finished illustrations for selected picture book scenes. 

Throughout the course, participants will engage in hands-on exercises, receive feedback from the instructor and their peers, and have the opportunity to explore their creativity in the exciting world of picture book illustration. 

Participant profile

This course is suitable for all levels of artists from beginners to experienced professionals who are interested in illustration and storytelling for children’s picture book illustration.


Finbar Coyle

Finbar Coyle is a freelance character designer and illustrator with over 10 years experience in the Animation industry in a range of roles from animator, prop designer to character designer. Some of his design credits include: Prop designer on “Danger Mouse” Season 1 for Boulder Media/ CBeebies, 2D Designer on “Nella the Princess Knight” for Brown Bag Films/Nick Jr and Lead Character Designer on “Alva’s World” for Kavaleer/RTE amongst others. Currently based in Cologne, Germany Finbar specialises in visual storytelling, sometimes as an illustrator, sometimes as part of a design studio. As an illustrator represented by Advocate Art agency Finbar has created characters for board games with major US company’s and as a freelance character designer he has created characters for brands such as Gymshark, FisherPrice, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and Aldi to name just a few. Finbar has also given talks and workshops on character design in Ireland and Germany.




Cultural & Creative Industries Skillnet can offer this course at the subsidised rate of €100

Dates and times of the course

Wednesday, July 31st (6.30pm – 8.30pm) for 5 weeks until Wednesday, August 28th

For any queries, please contact

An Introduction to Picture Book Illustration


Please note that due to our funding requirements, registrations are currently only available to those resident in the Republic Of Ireland. 

CCIS will generally only accept requests for cancellation refunds up to 5 working days before the training course commences. CCIS may allow for refunds outside of this on a case-by-case basis. Any request for a refund must be made via email to & insert the course name in the subject line.

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